Exposé Online banner

Chicago — Chicago at Carnegie Hall
(Rhino Records R2 76174, 1971/2005, 4CD)

by Mike McLatchey, 2017-05-25:

Chicago at Carnegie Hall Cover art

In a previous tier I highlighted the fourth disc of At Carnegie Hall because as good as the actual live album is, the liner notes explain that they really wanted to pick the fourth disc based on how great Terry Kath could be at the time, and they certainly established that. The actual live album itself, before it got such excellent treatment, was a fairly sprawling set in its own right, featuring the lion's share of the band's music at this point (At Carnegie Hall is essentially Chicago IV) and it could be argued that it can be pretty exhausting to go through at its length. But when I first got the box set, I'd pick out certain discs alone and play them and so my opinion of the album ended up being really high. This album did come with some complaints over the sound quality, but I think this CD rather improved things (strangely, though, some of the rest of this remaster series went in the other direction). Anyway the good thing about having such room is that Chicago could stretch their longer, artsier suites out, and they did so here. As I explained in a different tier, this was the album that really got me back into the group's early work and as a lot of great albums do it marks a bit of a nostalgic period of time, playing this with friends for weeks. It cements the outfit as being one of the most inventive rock groups fusing in a whole bunch of other influences into a really powerful big band sound.


by Mike McLatchey, 2016-12-08:

McLatchey's Second Tier

I'm not sure why over the years it took me a really long time to return to Chicago but I can tell you when I did and that's when the 4CD reissue of this album came out. When it did, a couple of my friends who are huge Chicago fans bought this and I figured, OK now's the time to revisit this band. This has essentially led to becoming a huge fan of their early work, to the point where if I was asked who my favorite guitarist was it would be Terry Kath — no question. And so if you look at At Carnegie Hall, the booklet discusses how the project leads wanted to add some bonus material to show just how amazing Terry Kath was as a guitarist and they absolutely killed it with the fourth CD. The whole bonus CD is great but I'd have to say the solos on "South California Purples" and "25 or 6 to 4" here are two for the ages. Kath was at least good enough to have a legend surrounding him that Hendrix thought he was better. Anyway to this day I'd say Chicago was really one of the great bands of the era and if they aren't considered progressive rock, they probably should be in its purest sense. But more on that another time...


Filed under: Reissues , 2005 releases, 1971 releases

Related artist(s): Chicago

More info

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

5uu's - Hunger's Teeth – The twisted family tree of the American bands U Totem, Thinking Plague, 5uu's and Motor Totemist Guild is perhaps representative of the challenging, ever-changing music that these four groups...  (1994) » Read more

Michael Angelo Batio - Hands without Shadows – Chicago's Michael Angelo Batio is a big name in heavy metal guitar, though he's never risen to the level of a Steve Vai or Joe Satriani. His claims to fame include patents and awards, though the...  (2007) » Read more

Ahleuchatistas - On the Culture Industry & The Same and the Other – Of all the genre labels ever devised, math rock has to be one of the most annoying. It’s an insult both to rock and to math, and seems to me borne of two mistaken beliefs. First, that math is...  (2005) » Read more

Pär Lindh Project - Gothic Impressions – Pär Lindh is known for organizing a Swedish progressive rock fan club, as well as helping out on keyboards during Änglagård live shows. This, his first album, features Lindh on an arsenal of...  (1995) » Read more

Deborah Martin / Cheryl Gallagher - Tibet – In 1999, composers Martin and Gallagher took a trip to the “land above the clouds” — so inspired they were by the experience that they composed an entire album which attempts to...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues